Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Baltimore and Orchard Orioles

Male, Baltimore Oriole, Icterus galbula,  05-06-2014
Two years ago we had a pair of Baltimore Orioles stay for the entire summer raising two broods of young.  The male nearly beat himself to death defending his territory against his image in our sun room window. The next year we had zero Orioles.  What a disappointment. This year we have at least four males visiting our feeders.  We also have numerous Baltimore Orioles at Fox Island Park drinking from our hummingbird feeders.  Removing the bee guards makes it possible for the Orioles to feed at will.
The Baltimore Oriole takes it's name from Lord Baltimore because it's colors match the colors of the lord's coat of arms.

Male, Orchard Oriole, Icterus spurius,  05-06-2014
Photo: Pat Ormiston, Allen Co., Indiana

Orchard Orioles are a smaller relative of the Baltimore, flying north to breed and then returning to their central America wintering grounds by August.